WATERVILLE — A 60-year-old water main broke early Friday at the intersection of Quarry Road and North Street, forcing interruption of water service to homes and businesses on Quarry Road and re-routing traffic through the parking lot of MaineGeneral Medical Center’s Thayer Center for Health.

A Kennebec Water District crew went to the scene after receiving the report of the main break about 1 a.m., according to Matt Zetterman, the district’s director of water quality, who was at the scene around 9 a.m. Water service was restored around noon and the street re-opened at 1:30 p.m., Zetterman said later in an email message.

“We have more road repair and clean up work to do but that will be done next week during regular business hours,” he wrote

The repair workers had to cut out about a 3-foot section of the 20-inch water main, installed in 1956, and replace it. The work took longer than expected, Zetterman said.

Around 9 a.m., the crew was working at the entrance to Quarry Road inside a large hole they had dug with an excavator.

Quarry Road, which leads to Quarry Road Recreation Area, is adjacent to MaineGeneral’s Thayer Center for Health off North Street. The hospital did not lose water service because it is supplied by a water main off North Street.

“The important thing is the hospital’s not out of water,” Zetterman said Friday morning.

Thayer Garden Apartments, Families Matter and HealthFirst Federal Credit Union are among Kennebec Water District customers on Quarry Road.

A spokeswoman from Keystone Management Co., which owns Thayer Garden Apartments, said there are 96 units in the complex, with one to four people living in each unit.

Officials are not sure what caused the water main break. There could be a variety of reasons, according to Zetterman.

“It’s really hard to pinpoint the problem,” he said.

Zetterman said pipes installed in the 1950s and ’60s have the highest frequency of breaks, more than those of any other period in the system.

“The quality of material after World War II wasn’t as good as other periods because they used to much during the war,” he said.

A crew from OTT Communications, of New Gloucester, also was at the scene, ensuring fiber optics in the area were not damaged, according to Zetterman.

With the exception of Zetterman, who arrived at the scene around 7 a.m. to relieve the night supervisor, the crew had been working since arriving after 1 a.m.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17